What you need to know

  • Senators and representatives have written to Tim cook expressing concern over Hong Kong mapping app.
  • The letter describes the move by Apple as "deeply concerning."
  • Apple removed HKmap.live from the App Store after reportedly seeing evidence it was used to target police.

A report from Bloomberg via 9to5Mac has revealed that representatives and senators have written an open letter to Tim Cook over Apple's decision to remove controversial app HKmap.live from its App Store

Apple caused global outcry following its decision to remove HKmap.live from its App Store earlier this month, despite claims it had received evidence the app was being used to target police in Hong Kong.

Now, the saga has taken a fresh turn after senators and representatives wrote to Apple expressing concern over the decision. The letter was signed by Ted Cruz, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ron Wyden, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, Mike Gallagher, and Tom Malinowski. The letter states:

"We write to express our strong concern about Apple's censorship of apps, including a prominent app used by Protesters in Hong Kong, at the behest of the Chinese government."

The letter goes on to express dissapointment at the decision to remove HKmap.live, claiming that it allows HK residents to keep peaceful protesters "out of harm's way" in the face of what it describes as "brutal repression." The letter also notes that Apple has censored at least 2200 apps in China, including VPNs and apps made by and for opressed ethnic minorities including the Uyghur and Tibetan Communities.

In conclusion the letter describes the decision to remove HKmap.live as "deeply concerning" and states:

"We urge you in the strongest terms to reverse course, to demonstrate that Apple puts values above market access, and to stand with the brave men and women fighting for basi rights and dignity in Hong Kong."

Apple will likely be keen for everyone to move on from this saga, but it seems unable to shake off criticism over its decision taken to remove HKmap. live. Are Cruz and co. right to criticise Apple's decision?